The Year of the Tennis Renaissance

After a plague, comes the renaissance. A rebirth of tennis possibilities, tennis stars and tennis greatness. 2018 has surely been the year of the Tennis Renaissance. Players who were gone are back, new players are emerging, and it’s an exciting time to be a tennis fan!

Last year was an intriguing year for us tennis fans. It was indeed the Black Plague of the tennis era. Prior to 2017, the Big Four (Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic), plus the fifth hanger-on, Stan Wawrinka, dominated the tennis world for over a decade. And then something strange happened. Injuries and personal setbacks plagued Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Stan Wawrinka, along with winners Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic, and we were left with two victors: Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. Roger and Rafa dominated 2017 winning all four of the majors between the two of them, along with numerous other championships. And although this is great for Roger and Rafa fans, I don’t think it was good for tennis, as a whole.

Although these players may not be in 100% championship form, it’s nice to have them back in the conversation.

Milos Raonic: Canadian player who has had a career high ranking of #3 in 2016, reaching the final at Wimbledon that year. He was out most of 2017 with a hamstring injury (sounds super painful). Just a few weeks ago, Milos played Roger Federer in the final at Stuttgart. He did not win, but looks to be in good form.

Image: sports.ndtv.com

Stan Wawrinka: Swiss player who came up in the tennis world in Roger Federer’s shadow. He has one of the most beautiful, powerful, accurate one-handed backhands on tour. Truly…it’s a thing of beauty. Stan has won three majors, 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open. So, he’s no schlump! He nursed a knee injury for much of 2017, and has slowly been making his way back in 2018. He’s not quite there yet, but it’s nice to see him back.

Image: ibtimes.co.uk

Kei Nishikori: He’s the first Japanese male tennis player to be ranked in the top 5. He’s been a US Open finalist in 2014, a US Open semifinalist in 2016 and an Olympic Bronze medalist. However, he’s been plagued with a wrist injury that has kept him off the court for a while. He made a nice, splashy comeback this year when he made it to the Monte Carlo finals, falling to Nadal. But still…what a great rebirth in 2018!

Image: espn.com

Novak Djokovic: Well, what to say about Novak? He’s been world #1, dominated the grand slams between 2011-2016, then something happened that had him spirally down. There’s been a lot of speculation about what contributed to his downfall in 2017. He fired his coach, Boris Becker, in late 2016. Then he cleaned house and fired his entire coaching team mid-2017. He started traveling around with a spiritual guru and losing interest in tennis. He lost weight. There were rumors of extra-martial affairs. And then, of course, there is the elbow injury that could be the official reason for his absence. I’m not 100% sure, but what I can say is I haven’t seen the guru lately, he reunited with his old coach, Marian Vadja, and he’s winning matches again with the spark and fire I am used to seeing his play with. Just last week, he reached the final of the Fever-Tree Championships (a warm up tournament to Wimbledon), and he is looking sharp! Now, if he would stop doing that scoop up with his hands to the crowd after every match win, that would be purrfect!

Image: si.com

Andy Murray: Let me just start out by saying I just love Andy Murray. He always looks like the undercat, even though he is an incredible force on the tennis court. And, I love Andy because he is an outspoken advocate for equal pay between men and women. And, I am pretty sure he is the first top professional tennis player to hire a female head coach (Amelie Maurresmo). So, you go on with your bad self, Andy!

Andy has played in 11 grand slam finals, winning three of them. And he’s an Olympic Gold Medalist, to boot! But, Andy’s been out with a hip injury that looks just awful. He had a couple of false “comebacks” this year, already, but I think he is improving and just in time for Wimbledon! He’s played some warmup matches and he’s looking pretty good.

Image: guardian.ng

Wimbledon starts July 2, and since these players have all been out with injuries, their rankings have fallen, and therefore the seeds at Wimbledon will be different. This could really shake up with draw when it comes out later this week. We could have some interesting first round matches between players who normally would meet in the quarterfinals or later. Should be fun to watch!

So let the rebirth continue! The Tennis Renaissance is here!

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Welcome to Grass Court Season

Last week, we witnessed Rafa Nadal grab his record-breaking 11th French Open title, signaling the end of the clay court season. And with the blink of a catnap, here we are paw deep in grass!

A semi-final match between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios at the Mercedes Cup is the perfect way to kick off the grass court season! Roger, who completely skipped clay court season (because there’s no way he could compete against the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal). Nick Kyrgios, who has been out nursing an injury. Of course, I was rooting for Nick, but it was nice to see them both back on court.

I never really know which Nick is going to show up when he plays. Will I get an unfocused, disinterested Nick who is a showman with trick shots that don’t work, or the one I know and love? The Nick that fully shows up ready to play with fierce serves and precise shots. For better or worse, we got a little of both of Nick today.

Image:gifphy.com

The first set was close with Nick winning in a tiebreak. Then in the second set, Nick loses focus and was playing more in an exhibition style, and of course, Federer jumped all over that and won the set 6-2. Nick finally snapped out of it in the last set, but it was too late. Federer won the match, winning the final set in a tiebreak, 7-6.

Even though Nick didn’t win, it was great to see him on court, feeling pain-free, and enjoying the game again! Welcome back Nick!

Roger Federer Image: bbc.com

Federer returns to the #1 ranking by winning this match, dethroning Rafa Nadal, who held the number one spot for all of clay court season. Concatulations to Roger.

But I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction. I do not think that Federer will win Wimbledon this year. Comparing Roger’s play today to Rafa on clay, I think that Roger is a little rusty and vulnerable. When Rafa is a clay, there is nothing vulnerable about him. Not sure who I think is going to win, but I don’t think it’s going to be Roger.

I also predicted that Nadal would not win the French Open this year, and he did, so what do I know? Probably nothing. So, this is just my inner cat intuition talking. We shall see as this season progresses. Stay tuned.

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Battle of the Mullets

My human and I finally had a chance to sit down and watch some tennis yesterday, and what is the first match we see? A battle of the mullets! To which I meowed, “Bring It On.”

You know the mullet…made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus in the 90’s. Don’t break my heart, my achy, breaky heart! (You’re welcome for that lovely earworm!)

Image: menshairstyleclub.com

The mullet…the hairstyle that purrs business in the front, party in the back!  Prrrr……

And apparently the mullet is ageless style…Denis is a Next-Gen 19 year old and Tomas is a seasoned 32 year old veteran.

Image result for denis shapovalovDenis Shapovalov

VS

Tomas Berdych

For these two players, the business is obviously tennis, and both players came to play!

It was a disjointed match to watch. I took one short catnap and Tomas won the first set 6-1. Then Denis came alive in the second set and won 6-3. By that time, they were both in the groove and the third set was tight, coming down to a tiebreak, with Denis winning the third set 7-6.

The Next Gen guys are shaking things up on the ATP tour and I like it!!

So, how do you feel about the mullet? Who wore it best? Denis or Tomas? OR Billy Ray? These are the questions that keep me up at night!

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Spa Day

Hello furriends! It’s been a little bit since I have written, but I am happy to be back. Sometimes in life, you need a little refreshing…a little reorganization, and that’s exactly what we did. My human and I took a little break to send my website out for a spa day.

Image: Pinterest.com

With the help of one of my blogging friends, Queenie at Written in the Ink, I redesigned my blog! No, my website didn’t get rhinoplasty or a tummy tuck, but something more subtle…something more in line with a massage and facial. We went with a new, fresher theme, cleaned up a bit of the categories and made it easier to navigate around the site. Purruse around the site and let me know what you think!

A huge thank you to Written in the Ink for helping me out with this. They were very easy to work with and I’m happy with the final results. Please visit their beautiful site and check them out. They even have my favorite category….Cats!!

Missing some of my tennis posts? Don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap up of the Madrid Open. Spoiler alert….the winner in NOT Rafa Nadal!! Dominic Thiem knocked him out in the quarterfinals yesterday! It was purrty unbelievable, but Thiem is on a roll!!

Meow at y’all tomorrow…

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Everything Counts In Large Amounts

Depeche Mode! One of my favorite bands of all time! So, it was no wonder when I was in the kitchen, staring at my food bowl waiting on my human to fill it up, chilling to the classic “Everything Counts In Large Amounts” I had a kitty epiphany! I said aloud to my human “Especially when it comes to ATP ranking points! Am I right? Meow! ”

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Newsweek

That is why this past year, all we’ve heard about are the 3 R’s! No, not reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, but instead Roger, Rafa and the Rest. Once you understand how the points work, you’ll see why. I’ll break it down for you in simple, broad stroke terms. Ready?

The grabbing hands

Grab all they can

All for themselves

After all…

It’s a competitive world.

Everything counts in large amounts.

Who has these grabbing hands, anyway? Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, that’s who! And when we talk about large amounts, we mean the big G’s! 1000’s!

The ATP has tournaments year round for which players earn points. The Masters tournaments range from 250, 500, and 1000. That number refers to the number of ranking points the winner gets. There is also four grand slam tournaments, worth 2000 points each. You win a Masters 250 tournament, you earn 250 points. You win Wimbledon, you earn 2000! See how that can make a difference?

Let’s look at the current rankings:
1. Rafa Nadal – 8770 points

2. Roger Federer – 8670 points

3. Sascha Zverev – 5195 points

4. Marin Cilic – 4985 points

5. Grigor Dimitrov – 4950 points

Notice how close Rafa and Roger are? A mere 100 points. Notice the gigantic drop of 3475 points between #2 and #3? That’s because Rafa and Roger won all of the grand slam tournaments last year, two a piece (remember, that is 2000 points per tournament). Of course, the small amounts in the other tournaments of the year help move things up and down slightly. And you have to factor in defending points from previous year’s tournaments. But it is the large amounts that make the biggest difference.

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Business Insider

If any of these other players even think about being a contender against Roger and Rafa and knocking them off their thrones, these other players’ grabbing hands will have to start grabbing all they can and start winning the grand slams. It is simple math!

Of course, it is a little more complex than this and if you want to read all about the ATP rankings, you can find information here. ATP Rankings

Hopefully you learned a little something today. It’s pretty fascinating when you start following things closely. I am going to make a bold prediction and say that someone else besides Roger or Rafa will win a grand slam this year and really shake things up in the ATP rankings. But we will have to wait and see. And of course, I will be here to bring you the big news!

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Is Rafa Nadal a Freak?

Let’s start by saying I would never ask this question if I didn’t hear someone call Rafa Nadal a freak. The exact quote was “Nadal is a freak in every possible way that can be interpreted.”

I immediately lifted my head that was resting on my outstretched paw, my other paw tucked underneath my chin. I cocked my head to the side, looked at my human and meowed “Did he just say that?” She assured me that, yep, that’s what he said.

Image: Yahoo Sports

It is the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo, the first Masters 1000 event for this clay court season, and the return of Rafa Nadal. I was looking forward to watching today’s match between Rafa and Dominic Thiem. I thought “If anyone could beat Rafa, it would be Dominic.” Domi was one of the few people that has beaten Rafa on clay recently!

Well, furriends, it was not in the cards today for poor little Domi. Rafa went out there with a quick pace and finished off Thiem in two quick sets, 6-0, 6-2. The whole event last a little over an hour.

It was about this time the Tennis Channel commentator said “Nadal is a freak in every possible way that can be interpreted.” Now, I know what he was trying to say, but come on. Rafa is just playing a game. He’s crafted his talent in such a way that he is a genius on clay. Yes, he’s a bit OCD with his water bottles facing the right way, the adjustments he makes before every single serve, and his overall work ethic. Does this make him a freak? I don’t think so. But, you can draw your own conclusions. All I know is he is magic when he steps out on the clay courts!

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Are Popped Collars Still A Thing?

Yes, apparently. In fashion, the old adage, “everything old is new again” holds true. This morning, I turned on the TV to watch a little tennis, and what do I see? Frenchman, Benoit Paire, sporting a Lacoste polo with a popped collar…while he is playing tennis! Not on a runway or hanging with his bros, but on the tennis court! I immediately sat up and thought, “hold on here a hot fashion minute. What is happening!” If Heidi Klum has taught me anything, it is that “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” Oh, I’m so confused…

I haven’t seen a popped collar since John Hughes introduced us to the preppy frat guy in the 80’s! Even the bad boys popped their collars back then…isn’t that right John Bender from the Breakfast Club? (wink, swoon, meow)

Image: Quotesgram.com

Oh I digress…

Anyway, I don’t mind this trend swinging back around into the 21st century, as long as you can pull the look off! And clearly, if you’re French and your name is Benoit Paire, you can totally pull it off! Oui, oui! (hi Monsieur Paire, call me)

Image: Lacoste

Maybe popped collars never went away! So go on you preppy frat boy, bad boy Bender, or “80’s was the best decade ever” cool cat, pop that collar! It’s a look and it is here to stay! Meow!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

It came as a surprise to me when Come With G nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you Glenda. I love your travel blog.

I have read many bloggers’ post about these awards and and I never thought I would qualify being a relatively new blogger with a relatively small following with a niche, which is tennis.   This is one of a few post which I am making that’s not tennis related.

Like Glenda, I think these awards are great for bloggers to connect and acknowledge each other’s work. I hope my readers would appreciate, read and follow the blogs I nominate as I play along.

Here are my answers to Come With G’s Questions:

1. Has any book influenced your decision to blog?

No, I don’t think a book influenced my decision to blog. My human’s brother was the one who came up with the idea, and she just ran with it. Of course, she couldn’t blog unless I was a willing participant, and it is definitely a team effort.

2. Do you play and or watch sports?

Obviously, I watch a lot of tennis. And even though I am not necessarily “athletic” I also enjoy baseball and golf! What is the common denominator between this sports? They all have a singular, small ball that flies around a court, field or course.

3. What’s your favorite destination?

My favorite destination is anywhere except the vet! Please, whatever you do…do NOT take me to the vet!

4. Do you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera?

I prefer to be in front of the camera, and my human behind the camera. I think she does an excellent job at really capturing my personality…even though I may have to remind her to shoot “my good side.”

5. Who is your favorite artist/artiste?

I have a good friend named Jen who creates wonderful pieces of art. She works in acrylics, oils and watercolor. Her site is lifemaderooted.com. You should really check her out!

Life Made Rooted

Continuing to play along, the blogs which I nominate are:

  1. The Nonalcoholic Student
  2. No Purpose Club
  3. Emma Does Life
  4. Cup of Books
  5. Special City Life

These are among my favorite blogs. Their musings on life, books, parenting and everything in between are super thought-provoking and entertaining to read, so I’m happy to follow these blogs. Check them out if these topics interest you.

My questions for them are:

1.Do you use other social media outlets to promote your blog? If so, which ones and have they been successful?

2. What was your biggest influence in starting your blog?

3. Describe your perfect Saturday.

4. Do you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera, and why?

5. Name your favorite book, song, and movie.

The Rules:

1. Thank the nominator and post a link back to their blog.

2. Answer the questions the nominator has set out for you.

3. Nominate new blogs and set out questions for them to answer.

4. Notify the nominees of their nominations by commenting on their blog or social media.

5. When creating your nomination post, list the rules and include the Sunshine Award logo in it.

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Freak Accidents

Freak accidents are the worst! And it always seems they happen to the best people.

I was sitting on the couch this morning, warm and cuddling up to my human. We were enjoying a great semifinal match of the Rotterdam Open between two of our favorite players, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin. And just like that, it happened. All of a sudden, David Goffin is bent over at the net, holding his eye, obviously in pain. It happened so fast, my human had to rewind the show because we missed it the first time. On our second look, David Goffin approached the net for a slice backhand, but instead of the ball floating over the net, it hit his racquet and bounced towards him quickly, popping him square in the eye. Freak accident. And just like that, Goffin had to retire this match due to a freak accident injury.

Goffin forced to retire in Rotterdam following freak eye injury

If you recall, another freak accident happened to David Goffin during the French Open last year. He slid on the clay towards the back of the court, and his slide went under the tarp that is folded up back there. This freak injury jacked up his ankle and he was out for months.

Lets hope this injury is relatively minor and he is back playing in a couple of weeks. But in the meantime…get well David!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Valentine’s Day from Frazier’s Racket!

A time to celebrate all things “LOVE!”

Image result for valentines day gifs

And why not? This week, we have a classic Valentine’s Day combo. No, I’m not talking about chocolate covered strawberries (although those are pretty darn delicious). I’m talking about two of my favorite things…tennis and New York! It is the New York Open!

Logo

It’s in its inaugural year for this tournament out on Long Island (used to be played in Memphis as, you guessed it, the Memphis Open), so this is purrty exciting! Not quite the US Open, but a smaller, Masters 250 tournament. It features several American players, so it’s nice to see the US Men’s tennis be represented so prominently.

Unfortunately, some of the American players have already tarnished this shiny new event with court side altercations and accusations of racism. This happened during the opening round match between Donald Young and Ryan Harrison. Harrison started the altercation during one of the change-overs, and then after the match, Young took to Twitter accusing Harrison of making racist remarks during their match. Unfortunately the TV coverage on the Tennis Channel was like watching NASA footage from another planet, so the television viewers could not tell what was said between the two players. The ATP says they are investigating the issue and will take any allegations of this nature seriously. I certainly hope so.

This situation really bums me out! Why can’t players get along…especially players from the same country? I think this is indicative of deeper issues…a country divided in these cold, testy, political times. We saw it when Tennys Sandgryn, an extreme alt-right American from Tennessee who made a decent run at the Australian Open. Once he was in the spotlight, everything about him was exposed and he ended up deleting most of his Twitter posts because his views were under scrutiny.

Can’t we all just support each other, lift each other up and get along? Is that too much for a cat to ask? There is a possibility that Harrison will meet Young in doubles, so that should be a fireworks match…but not the good kind that light up the sky, but the bad kind that is harmful and disruptive. Stop giving tennis a bad name, guys!

OK, well let’s think happy, loving thoughts this Valentine’s Day!! Yay tennis! Yay New York!

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My Tennis Soft Spot

Everybody knows, all cats have a soft spot. Even strong, silent types like me! I love a good pull-at-the-heartstrings story line. The one where the player has overcome some type of adversary…an injury with a great comeback, a juicy change-in-coaches scandal, a close-but-no-cigar loss. Give a cat something! I’m always rooting for the under cat. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the A team…the shear dominance of Roger Federer or the fierce power hitting of Rafa Nadal is undeniably astonishing. But truth be told, I have long awaited for the B team to step up to the service line and have their day in the sun!

Some may argue that these players are not “under cats” at all because they are all in the top 10, but let’s be honest. They have not done enough to break the top two players. But still, I love them! I meow and purr for them every chance I get. I have hope that one day their brilliance will shine through.

Here is a list of the top five players I have a soft spot for.

Juan Martin Del Potro – I have documented my tennis love for JMDP. He had his amazing US Open win against Federer in 2009, suffered wrist injury after injury, and then came back to win Olympic silver in Rio in 2016. He is currently #9 in the world, which is pretty amazing, considering his on-going wrist injury. His emotions are out there for you to see and feel when he is on court and I love it!

Related image

David Goffin – Or as ESPN commentator, Brad Gilbert, calls him…”Boy Band Goffin.” What do you think? Do you think he could be a member of  the Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees? Either way, I like him. He turned pro around 2012, and he is currently ranked #7 in the world. He suffers a bit from the “always the bridesmaid” syndrome, with his most recent bridesmaid appearance at the 2017 ATP Finals, losing to Grigor Dimitrov. But still, he’s a underestimated beast on court.

Image result for david goffin

Grigor Dimitrov – Up until last year, the most I knew of Grigor Dimitrov is that he used to date Maria Sharapova and people called him “Baby Fed”. But by the end of 2017, he won the final tournament of the year, the ATP Finals and boosted his ranking to #4 in the world. With a recent change in coaches to Dani Vallverdu (who has coached Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych) he’s gotten stronger and better, and I can’t wait to see if he can maybe win a slam or two. (And he’s purrty cute, don’t you think?) Come on, Grigor!

Image result for grigor dimitrov

Pablo Carreno-Busta – He is relatively new on the tour and already ranked #10 in the world. Hailing from Spain, I would cat-egorize his as a clay-court specialist. Not many people are talking about him, but I think with a little time, he can be a top 5 player! Maybe he could win the French Open as soon as Rafa retires, or hopefully before!

Image result for pablo carreno busta

Dominic Thiem – (or as I like to call him Dominic “Sweep the Leg” Thiem!…You know, Karate Kid? Sweep the leg, Johnny!) Anyway, he is one of my favorite players. I noticed him last year during clay court season. He is a soft-spoken, understated player with a wicked one-handed backhand. The only thing he needs is the belief he can win. Currently ranked #6 in the world, so it’s not unthinkable.

Let’s give these cool cats some love! They are going to need it if they plan on booting out Roger or Rafa!

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New Year’s Resolutions I Wish The Players Would Make – 2018 Edition

Ah yes, here we are again at the opening of another exciting tennis season. New season means new beginnings, and what better time to set some resolutions for the new year. Here are a couple I wish the players would make:

Andrey Rublev – I resolve to wear shirts that fit me rather than the large, oversized tents that Nike supplied me with last year. Yes, I know….I should be grateful that Nike would ever sponsor a young player like me, and I am! But…please Nike, wearing these voluminous shirts while trying to play competitive tennis is like fighting with your bed sheets while dreaming of being chased by bees. It’s a tangled mess!

John Isner – I resolve to improve my defensive game. My offensive game is so on point! I can serve aces until the cows come home, but if I can’t defend all of those games I win off of my serve, then I am stuck playing tiebreaks every set. We do NOT need a Wimbledon repeat.

Simona Halep – I resolve to be greedy! And by greedy, I mean greedy for the #1 ranking!! I am fully aware that Serena is back and ready to prove to herself and the tennis world that she can (and will) quickly rise to the top, but I will do all I can to stay Queen of the Mountain!

Dominic Thiem – I resolve to not let my girlfriend interfere with my progress! 2017 was  a breakthrough year for me. Heck I finished the year in the top 5! No girlfriend will take away my focus to be the best player I can be!! Let’s hear it for Team Thiem!

Jack Sock – I resolve to shave off my ridiculous chinstrap “beard”. I know I made this resolution last year, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe my new girlfriend will encourage me to make the right decision for my face. This is the year, Jack!!

All professional players – We resolve to withdraw from tournaments if we are injured. We will not go on court for our first match, only to “retire” because of an injury. We know we do this so we can get our prize money that is due to us. But we also realize that, when we do this, we take a spot away from another player who is healthy, not to mention, it is better for the fans!

Here is to a cat-tastic 2018!

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Revisiting 2017 Grand Slam Predictions – Women

At the beginning of 2017, I wrote the following predictions about women’s tennis:

OK, here are my predictions for the 2017 Grand Slam winners on the women’s side:

  • Aussie Open – Serena Williams
  • French Open – Serena Williams
  • Wimbledon – Serena Williams
  • US Open – Serena Williams

Well, it may not go just like that, but I have no doubt that Serena will win Grand Slam #23 and pass Steffi Graf’s record at some point this year. And if I had to guess, it will be at Wimbledon…and then maybe the US Open. NO DOUBT!! And wow, wouldn’t it be awesome if she won all four at her age!

In other news, I really think we are going to see a breakout year from Karolina Pliskova. By the end of last year, her playing was on point and she could certainly be a Grand Slam contender. With the help of Darren Cahill in her coaching box, I predict Simona Halep to get to at least two finals this year. And last but not least, let’s hearing it for our American players. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Madison Keys get to a final? Go Madison!  USA! USA!!

Little did I purr, Serena Williams was going to have a big year in a different way! Yes, she did win the Australian Open, playing against her big sis, Venus, no less, in the final. That gave her win #23, surpassing Steffi Graf’s record for number of grand slam wins for women. But she also had a baby and got married in 2017! Talk about a BIG year. Congratulations to Serena!

How well did I do with the other predictions? 25% correct

Here is a list of all the grand slam winners in 2017:

  • Aussie Open – Serena Williams
  • French Open – Jelena Ostapenko
  • Wimbledon – Garbine Muguruza
  • US Open – Sloane Stephens

If Serena wasn’t busy becoming a mother and a wife, she would have certainly won at least one more grand slam, furr sure. But since she was out, this left room for the others, including Venus Williams, to make some big moves.

Simona Halep made it to the French Open final and ended as the year’s #1 player on the WTA rankings! Way to go, Simona! Karolina Pliskova did pretty well, ending the year ranked #4. Venus Williams made it to two grand slam finals this year, the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Not too bad for a 37 year old! And Madison Keys made it to the US Open finals, playing another American, Sloane Stephens! Yes, we had two American women in their home slam! USA! USA!

It truly was a remarkable year for American women’s tennis. And that sounds funny to meow when Serena was out for most of the year.

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Revisiting 2017 Grand Slam Predictions – Men

I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable tennis cat, but no cat could have predicted the 2017 tennis season we had this year. It was a wild ride, for sure, that served up some vintage tennis and some unlikely winners.

Here are the predictions I made at the beginning of the 2017 Grand Slam season on the men’s side:

  • Aussie Open – Stan Wawrinka
  • French Open – Rafa Nadal
  • Wimbledon – Roger Federer
  • US Open – Juan Martin Del Potro

At the beginning of 2017, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were dominating the men’s tennis scene, Roger Federer was phasing out, Rafa Nadal was injured (as he always been). So these predictions were a bit nostalgic, like wouldn’t it be nice if Roger could win one more Wimdledon, Nadal could dominate clay and win a French Open, and Juan Martin Del Potro could relive his 2009 glory days and win a US Open. But, as we saw early in the year, this will be a year like no other!

Novak did not perform well this year due to personal issues and possible injury, as did Andy. Roger and Nadal dominated the entire season, winning two grand slams a piece. Here are the final 2017 grand slam results:

  • Aussie Open – Roger Federer
  • French Open – Rafa Nadal
  • Wimbledon – Roger Federer
  • US Open – Rafa Nadal

As you can see, I was 50% correct. Not bad. Stay tuned for my 2018 predictions before the beginning of the year!

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Revisiting 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Tennis furriends, I can’t believe it! The 2017 has officially come to a close. Now we wait until January 1, 2018 to see what the next season of drama has in store for us!

Since we are in between seasons, I thought this would be a pawsitively good time to revisit the new year’s resolutions I “wished” the players would make last year. This is a special post for me because it was my very first post I wrote for my blog back in January.

New Year’s Resolutions I Wish They Would Make

Let’s revisit, shall we…

Resolution #1:

Nick Kyrgios – I resolve to get my s*#@ together this year. I am way too awesome of a tennis talent to waste it on a poor attitude and weak effort. I mean, seriously….I could win a major this year if I put in the time.

Did he resolve this? – Nick definitely had some shining moments in 2017. He was the cat’s meow at the Laver Cup, but was plagued with injury much of the year. When a player is injured, it is hard to tell what kind of mind games they are playing. He seemed to be better than in 2016. Here’s hoping for a better 2018.

Resolution #2:

Jack Sock – I resolve to shave off my chin strap beard. It is weird and totally unnecessary. Think about how much better I would be if I spent more time practicing and less time trimming that thing.

Did he resolve this? – Unfortunately, no. He is still sporting that ridiculous chin strap beard, and managed to snag a girlfriend in the process. However, his game did greatly improve throughout the year and he ended the year ranked #8! I am still in Shock About Sock!

Resolution #3:

Milos Raonic – I resolve to relax and have fun. I’m talented and skilled on the court, and I finally got rid of that ridiculous compression sleeve. It’s time to loosen up and enjoy the game.

Did he resolve this? – Meoooow….it’s hard to tell. Milos was injured for most of the year. He really wasn’t even part of the 2017 narrative. A non-issue, if you will. Let’s see how he performs in 2018!

Resolution #4:

Nike – I resolve to change the color palette of the outfits I make the players wear. For the love of all things right in this world, I will…I promise. They’ve suffered enough.

Did they resolve this? – Yes and thank goodness! Good job Nike! Nike heard our pleas and saw our bleeding eyes and by the end of the year was producing some very nice tennis outfits! Adidas on the other hand…I’ve got my paw on you!

Resolution #5:

John Isner – I resolve to learn how to close out sets earlier and more efficiently. There is no reason to have to go to a tie break every single freaking match. Haven’t I learned from my Wimbledon experience? (and many other matches, for that matter)

Did he resolve this? Ummm…..nope!

Resolution #6:

Andre Agassi – I resolve to become a commentator for ESPN. (Pleeeeaassse) John McEnroe, we all love you, you know we do. But it’s time to scoot over and let the rest of us have a shot. My fans want to know what I have to say.

Did he resolve this? – Sadly, no! He did, however, sign on as a coach for a drifting Novak Djokovic. Novak has truly slid right off the tennis conscience this year, so it will be interesting to see if Agassi can pump some life into him. The jury is out…

So, good job Jack Sock and Nike! Nick Kyrios, you get an honorable mention for having a decent year. The rest of you…luckily we can always look to the new year for improvements.

Now that was a nice little cat walk down memory lane.

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